'Anti-Jew' jailed in Singapore

10 Sep 2009 by CST

A man has been jailed for an unprovoked attack on an Jewish man in Singapore's National Library, the first case of its kind in Singapore involving religiously aggravated assault. Vos Iz Neias? takes up the story:

Azmi Osman, 35, unemployed, who had the words 'Anti Jews'' on his right cheek, admitted to punching the right arm of Mr Eliyahu Benhiyoun, 21, and knowingly promoting feelings of ill-will between different religious groups with the tattoo on his face.

The incident occurred at the National Library at Victoria Street on Feb 25.

Apart from the two offences, he also pleaded guilty to armed robbery and causing hurt to an NTUC FairPrice worker with a knife at Bedok North Street 1 in April.

He was sentenced to a total of three years and 12 strokes of the cane.

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Pressing for a deterrent sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Kok Weng said the offences were racially or religiously aggravated, and threatened the long-term stability and social cohesion of Singapore.

'Such xenophobic acts cannot be condoned in a multi-religious and multi-racial society such as Singapore,'' he said.

If hate acts based on race or religion were allowed to persist, the fault lines between the races and/or religious groups would deepen, said the DPP. This would in turn create opportunities for religious extremist groups to exploit.

Community Court Judge Ng Peng Hong agreed with the prosecution that the stiff sentence was warranted, and the judge said Azmi would be counselled to remove the tattoo, which can still be seen after he had tattooed a picture of a Merlion over it.


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